For the third-straight cycle the United States will host CONCACAF’s Summer Olympics qualifying tournament, from Oct. 1-13, the North, Central American and Caribbean confederation announced on Thursday.
Host cities were not announced on Thursday and will be chosen at a later date.
Two teams will qualify directly to next summer’s games in Rio de Janeiro, while a third will qualify for an inter-confederational playoff against Colombia, the second-place finishers in CONMEBOL’s South American Youth Championship, which Argentina won last week.
In CONCACAF, eight teams will be split into two groups of four with the top two teams from each group advancing to the semifinals. First-place from Group A will play second-place from Group B, and vice versa. The two semifinals winners will win automatic berths in the 2016 Olympics, while the losers will face off in the third-place game with the playoff spot on the line.
The 2012 qualifying tournament was held in Nashville, Tennessee, and Carson, California, with knockout rounds in Kansas City, Kansas. The U.S. U-23 team’s group stage games were played in Nashville, where they were shockingly eliminated on Sean Johnson’s botched save in the final seconds of the final group stage game, allowing El Salvador to tie the game, 3-3, and advance from the group.
A number of players from the U.S. senior team’s recently completed January camp and friendlies are expected to feature for the U-23 side this fall, including MLSers Wil Trapp, Jon Kempin, Shane O’Neill, Dillon Serna, Oscar Sorto and Christian Dean; Dennis Flores (Leon, Mexico) and Marc Pelosi (Liverpool). Tottenham Hotspur defender DeAndre Yedlin is also eligible for the U-23 team.